Roses are Red, Blood Cells Blue
❤ The heart is a symbol of love, and on this Mother’s Day, let’s consider the cardiovascular changes in a pregnant mother. As the sole provider of nourishment to the baby, the mother’s cardiac output (blood volume) increases by 50% during pregnancy…that’s an extra liter and half. Her heart will enlarge and beat faster, by about 15 beats/min. The growing fetus pushes her heart upwards and to the left. She will need more red blood cells to carry extra oxygen, although the increased numbers do not keep up with the blood volume. The higher requirement for iron and the dilution of red cells in blood can make mama-to-be tired and anemic.
❤ A pregnant woman is hypercoagulable: more likely to form clots. This is thought to be an evolutionary precaution against hemorrhaging after delivery, but it puts the mother at risk for dangerous embolisms. In scanning electron microscope images of blood smears from non-pregnant and pregnant women, clot-forming platelets were never associated with red cells in non-pregnant women (A) but invariably found attached to red cells through early (B) and late (C) pregnancy and 6-8 week postpartum (D). These platelets developed long processes (pseudopodia) that link the red cells together, making it easier to form clots.
Just like two strands of DNA are spirally entwined
Your nature and your nurture are inspiringly combined
Scientists remind me and I find that it is true
Slightly more than half of everything I am is thanks to you
Image source ▶ http://goo.gl/QrFOV
Pregnancy and Cardiovascular Changes ▶ http://goo.gl/Quj1t